World of Warcraft fans that were hoping the new Shadowlands expansion would save 2020 got some disappointing news today. It turns out the WoW team has decided to delay the expansion until sometime later this year. This pushes it back from its scheduled October 27 releases date, although a Shadowlands pre-patch is still slated for October 13.
John Hight, executive producer of WoW, made the delay known on the Blizzard blog and social media. He states that the expansion is ready at its core – “the zones, the campaign, the level-up questing experience, and the story” are supposedly in a good place. However, fan feedback hasn’t been as positive about the endgame. In particular, there’s a level of polish missing that is somewhat the product of the sudden shift to working from home.
The full statement can be found below, via WoW’s Twitter account:
The new launch date is being left vague on purpose, as the team is still “determining the right new date to launch.” As of now, Shadowlands is set for “later this year.”
There is still some content on the way for October, however, in the form of a Shadowlands pre-patch. This patch is meant to set Shadowlands up by introducing some of the new features ahead of launch. The big changes will be reworked leveling, more character customization, and some new activities in Exile’s Reach. This patch is set to release on October 13.
As usual, the social media comments were mixed. Many cried disappointment at the delay and accused Blizzard of letting down fans as always. Others thanked the studio for realizing there was too much work to be done in the given timeframe, and for not putting developers in a crunch situation. Seeing as another big 2020 game is getting flak for inducing crunch, it seems Blizzard made this choice with good timing.
World of Warcraft Shadowlands is gearing up to be a big expansion, one that should validate this delay. There’s new pets to tame, and the story is already shaping upto be memorable. If Blizzard can fix these endgame issues, Shadowlands might be able to draw players back from WoW Classic.
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